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To Sam

Please help me..

I've never self harmed, but (Iknow this might sound silly) I've been considering it. In my head, a have this voice that's telling me to do it, but I always try to over come it. The thing I'm scared about most is, what if one day I can't block out the voice in my head? What if I can't control myself, and I do self harm? The reasons why I feel this way is because I get paranoid. I think that everyone is judging me, on what I say or the way I dress or the way I look. I just want to be normal, and fit in with all the others. I don't want to talk to my friends or family about this. It's too personal. What should I do?
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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter.

It sounds like you have been thinking a lot about self-harming recently. It’s not something you really want to do and you have managed to overcome the urge to do it so far.

From what you have told me it feels like self-harm might seem like a way of coping with your feelings of paranoia and your fear of being judged. I’m wondering whether there could be a different way for you to cope. Perhaps it could be a good idea to think about where these feelings have come from. Has something happened to make you feel paranoid or make you feel like you will be judged?

I can hear that you don’t feel able to talk to your friends or family. This is actually very normal. Many young people tell me they often find it easier to talk to someone outside their family or someone they don't know. You might like to think about talking to a ChildLine counsellor. They are always there to listen and support you and will never judge you. You can do that by phoning free on 0800 1111, by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email from your ChildLine locker, which you can access once you set up an account.

Lots of young people find it difficult to cope sometimes and it takes courage to ask for help. Self-harming can be very difficult to stop and for some people it is like an addiction. There are lots of other things you can try as a way to cope. Different things can be helpful to different people so it could be important to try a few things until you find something that works for you.

Using distractions can be a good way to take your mind off difficult feelings and often young people find that doing something they enjoy works as a distraction. Listening to music, watching a favourite film, talking with friends or playing games can be distracting. To stop you self-harming, you could try being around people when you get the urge to hurt yourself. You could also look at other coping techniques.

Talking to a ChildLine counsellor could also be a good way to distract yourself when you get the urge to harm yourself. The counsellors are there to listen to you and to support you.

Take care,

Sam

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